Master Chief of the Navy, or MCPON, Russell Smith reported to Recruit Training Command, San Diego, California, in September 1988 and began his career as an airman. He became a Weapons Technician in 1990, then converted to the Intelligence Specialist rating in 1993 and was selected for the Command Master Chief Program in 2007.
He has served in a myriad of sea duty assignments, including USS Enterprise (CVN 65), SEAL Team Four, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), two tours onboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), and most recently as command master chief (CMC) onboard USS Momsen (DDG 92).
His previous shore tours include service as the operations non-commission officer at the U.S. Defense Attaché Office in Moscow, Russia, on the OPNAV Staff as senior enlisted for the Intelligence community, as CMC for the Office of Naval Intelligence, OPNAV Staff command master chief in Washington, District of Columbia, as U.S. Naval Academy command master chief in Annapolis, Maryland, and most recently as fleet master chief, Manpower, Personnel, Training, and Education in January 2017.
He completed six shipboard deployments to the Western Pacific and Central Command in support of Operations Desert Storm and Desert Fox, a 292-day combat deployment during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, disaster relief operations in Indonesia and counter-piracy operations in the Horn of Africa. He also served on numerous deployments and detachments while attached to Naval Special Warfare and Defense Intelligence Agency elements.
Smith is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 125/Blue) and CMC/COB Course (Class 42), and has been awarded the Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), and various other personal and unit awards. He received the Edwin T. Layton Leadership Award in fall of 2002 for leadership in the Intelligence Community.
He assumed the duties as the 15th master chief petty officer of the Navy on August 29, 2018.